At a recent meeting of Fylde Council Environment, Health and Housing Committee, Members agreed to approve the replacement of the strategic town centre cameras in St Anne’s, Lytham and Kirkham, subject to Capital budgetary provision being confirmed through the 2022/23 budget process.
The Council currently controls fifteen static CCTV cameras in town centre locations. The cameras are in in St Anne’s (8 cameras), Lytham (4) and Kirkham (3). The cameras are currently maintained under an agreement with Blackpool Council and operated and monitored through an arrangement with Wyre Council.
Recent data from Autumn 2019 to Winter 2020 showed that 2133 incidents were recorded in St Anne’s town centre alone. These were classified by the Police as including 198 nuisance incidents, 47 suspicious circumstances, 177 concern for safety incidents and 143 incidents of theft. Lytham data showed that 547 incidents were recorded, with Kirkham recording 677 incidents, all including nuisance, suspicious circumstances and theft as in St Anne’s.
As well as the town centre cameras, the Council has historically been able to deploy two mobile CCTV vehicles which were moved quickly to address problem areas on a temporary basis. It is envisaged that four rapid deployable cameras (RRCs) will replace the current CCTV vans, and the town and parish Council’s will be encouraged to fund further supplementary cameras to ensure a thorough coverage of the Borough. RRCs are specifically designed to deliver live and recorded high‐definition images via 4G mobile transmission.
The associated costs with improving the provision of CCTV across the Borough are just over £76,000, and the Budget Working Group has recommended that funding for replacing the present town centre cameras be included in the budget for 2022/23.
Councillor Tommy Threlfall, Chair of the Environment, Health and Housing Committee said, ‘Community safety is greatly important to us at Fylde. Having effective CCTV across the Borough’s town centres and hot spots is imperative to keeping our residents and visitors safe. It is clear from the number of incidents recorded throughout 2019 – 2020 that CCTV is a necessity in not only tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, but in helping the Police to bring those responsible to justice. We are fully committed at the Council to always striving to improve services which benefit the Borough and help to keep it safe. The new CCTV provision looks to do just this, and we are looking forward to having a modern, reliable and rapidly available service when required.’
Fylde Council says it is not only committed to tackling the levels of Anti-Social Behaviour in the Borough through improving the CCTV provision in town centres but also by supporting community partnerships to engage the younger generation. Councillors heard at the meeting of a new initiative to tackle underage drinking in Fylde through engaging the younger community. A Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) was launched on September 7th to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local young people.
The CAP will work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free leisure and sports activities for young people. It will also work with local schools to take a proactive approach to alcohol education and ensure that young people are equipped to make the right decisions about issues including alcohol and drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour.
Working with local retailers the CAP aims to help them avoid making underage sales and reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s. CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to prevent alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents. More than 200 schemes have now been launched across England, Scotland and Wales. In Fylde, partners include Fylde Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Police, AFC Fylde Community Foundation, Fylde Rugby Foundation and Streetwise Youth Community plus local schools and retailers.
Kate Winstanley, Director of Community Alcohol Partnerships said: ‘I am delighted to see the launch of a CAP in Fylde. Underage drinking is associated with school and educational problems, unprotected sex, drug-taking, violence and drinking problems in later life.
In just over a decade CAP has set up more than 200 partnerships around the UK and our evaluations show they are having a significant impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.’
Ian Brookes, Sports Development Officer at Fylde Borough Council said: ‘Concerns were raised by the community about young people’s drinking and anti-social behaviour, and after consulting with local young people, we decided to tackle the issue by setting up a Community Alcohol Partnership with partner agencies working together to help reduce some of the harm that alcohol causes in our communities and to our young people. We believe it will be a really positive influence on the area.’